Quebec is now ground zero for the fight between state and sect, having recently passed Bill 21, which bans all religious clothing and accessories among certain public sector employees in the workplace, and also having begun a Superior Court trial in a case brought against the province by an ex-hasid for educational neglect. Fiercely secular, Quebec followed France (which it sees as a model in the matter of laïcité) in banning burqas and niqabs from much of the public sector; Bill 21 extends this government constraint of religious expression (let’s be generous and agree that the burqa/niqab have something to do with religion – even though it’s more persuasive, it seems to me, to characterize them as pre- or even anti-Islamic and tribal) to things like hijabs and turbans and crucifixes on people who are working in the state sector. The ongoing Superior Court trial reveals that although Quebec claims to be quite secular, it’s not vigilant in secularity’s defense: If the complaints at the trial stand up, the government was perfectly aware for decades of the Tash cult, which kept its children in abysmal ignorance.

Jewish cultists all over the world, including the United States and of course notoriously in Israel, practice appalling educational malpractice, and although the court cases and school inspections and for real and we really mean it this time national education standards keep coming, the cultists persist in turning out unemployably ignorant people whose lifelong dysfunction our welfare payments support. No doubt the outcome of the Quebec trial will be a concession on the part of the province that they certainly fucked up in letting Canadian citizens raise their children according to thirteenth century standards; but without severe and unremitting penalties (school closures; unpleasant financial implications) nothing will change.

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And as to the business of believing horseshit — the sort of thing the professor quoted in this post’s title mentions — well here’s how ol’ UD feels about that.

Our current vice-president doesn’t believe in evolution. Millions of Americans don’t believe in evolution along with him. Pence is leading the coronavirus effort, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he personally disbelieved the germ theory of disease.

The vice president thinks smoking doesn’t kill, condoms are “very poor” protection against disease, and the best way to curb an H.I.V. outbreak is through prayer.

Mehdi Hasan, whose opinion piece on the burqa I linked to up there, thinks Muhammed flew up to heaven on a winged horse. Plenty of competent, upstanding citizens who went to good colleges believe a crapload of horseshit. UD has some pretty weird articles of faith – or call them intuitions – herself, come to that… I mean, not as weird as the stuff I’ve been citing, but pretty weird.

So what. It’s the essence of personal liberty in the pursuit of happiness within a liberal democratic state that you can dabble in the alchemy of your choice on your own time as long as it doesn’t put anyone in danger, and as long as you fulfill the basic duties of a citizen. Mike Pence’s entry into the age of reason might all be a ruse, but as long as he keeps up the pretense of being one of us I don’t care. We’re onto ye olde private/public distinction here; and the position you take on Quebec’s Bill 21 will ride on whether you regard the outward exposure of your inward, arguably anti-democratic, and often anti-intellectual, beliefs to be damaging to the education of citizens of a secular state, or as undermining the authority and identity of a secular judicial system.

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